Businesses take action to combat downtown violence
After a cab driver was threatened with a needle and a bouncer was beaten unconscious, Spokane businesses are fighting back against a pack of teenagers terrorizing the downtown core.
"The last couple of weeks were pretty bad. There was almost an incident every night," Justin Robbins from the Blue Spark said.
The sloppiness spills over in a three-block radius from the dilapidated Ridpath Hotel.
"It looks dirty it looks like you wouldn't want to hang out there. It looks seedy, it doesn't look like a budding business district it looks sloppy," Robbins said.
Mike Tedesco, President of the Downtown Spokane Partnership, said they acknowledge the growing problem and aren't going to tolerate it.
"There is definitely a concern in that area and to address that concern we are no holds bar," Tedesco said.
Businesses in the area are hurting because of this. The Blue Spark says these teens are keeping customers away.
"If you don't have people wanting to come to your bar because they are afraid they are going to get jumped, that's a loss in business," Robbins said.
Todesco calls it a challenging area. He started getting calls from businesses frustrated with the increase about a month and a half ago.
Downtown Spokane Partnership has increased the beat of its city ambassadors. These ambassadors now frequently roam two areas: one, in front of the Ridpath Hotel and the second in the alleyway between First and Second.
The partnership says they've also contributed funds to the police department to increase bike patrols, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
"It's important to be proactive and remedy those challenges before they grow any bigger," Tedesco said.
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